Julian Assange's Double Talk

Up until now, I've kept myself out of this whole WikiLeaks thing. Mainly because I don't like saying WikiLeaks. I think it sounds ridiculous. But I do have an opinion on this whole thing and I also have a point to make. Shocking, I know. But bear with me.

So, this Julian Assange character likes to obtain classified or secret documents from various governments or institutions and then publish said information online. His most recent target has been the United States. It's not really all that clear to me what his goal is, as he is an Australian and doesn't seem to have any direct dealings with the United States. He is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I think that has a lot to do with it. I also think that he's delusional if he thinks that he's going to be able to put a stop to these wars with his reckless release of information. Extremely delusional.

Just the other day, The Australian ran a piece by Mr. Assange entitled "Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths". It is within this piece that Mr. Assange rambles on about how people need to know the truth. In some ways, he is correct. The people of a country should not be lied to by their government. That doesn't mean that the people need to know every bit of information that goes on behind the scenes. It's not something that is unique to America. Every country has information that is classified. I don't get what he doesn't understand about that.

But it's in this piece that Mr. Assange proclaims his "innocence". According to him, it's not like these releases of classified information are hurting anyone. He's just putting the truth out there. In fact, he states "WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed." Not so fast WikiWeenie.

Back in August, Mr. Assange was the subject of a piece by a one Carole Cadwalladr over at The Guardian. In that piece, Mr. Assange talks about "...the Kenyan 2007 elections when a WikiLeak document "swung the election"." Really? According to him, yes. Really. The document of which he speaks "...exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country." Huh. Anything else? Glad you asked! He then claimed "1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak." Ohhhh. So close!

Look, I don't know what document he's talking about and I'm not interested in looking into it. But I absolutely believe him that people lost their lives because of his leak. He knows what he's doing and it isn't to promote "open government". If anything, other than being a pain in the ass, he's promoting anarchy. And while I'm really unhappy with the way that this guy has chosen to go about things, I'm even more unhappy with the fact that classified documents were so easily accessible in the United States that it was possible for a lowly Private First Class to download them all onto CDs and hand them over to Assange. I do agree with him that he's the "messenger", but give me a break, that doesn't mean that he's blameless in all of this.